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“We stopped looking over our shoulder at the Western model and started doing what our users needed,” Burin says.
Opportunities to make money The website keeps a careful record of its statistics for “happy couples” that have met through the service: this is another part of the e service that the Russian site has imitated.
In the two years since its launch, the online start-up has brought thousands of couples together, generated million in investments and begun swallowing up its competitors.
The company started with the e Harmony model and is now moving to dominate the Russian online dating niche.
The Russian and American sites work on the same principle: when users register, they answer the questions on a test, and this is then used to compile a psychological profile of the user.
“But it soon became clear that the e Harmony business model in its pure form would not work in the Russian dating market.” Thus, made some radical changes to the site’s design and content.
For example, unlike its American counterpart, the Russian site now has a section where a psychologist answers questions, as well as its own discussion forum and blog, with dozens of articles about relationships.
Unlike other dating sites, provides a niche service for people who are looking for a serious relationship and are willing to pay money to have potential partners selected on the basis of a psychological test.
It was not all their idea, admits CEO Andrei Burin. By the time was launched in 2010, the American site was boasting that, in the past year, it had introduced five percent of all married couples in the United States and Australia.
More and more of today’s love stories start with people making contact on the Internet starts with the following: “I was going to bed at two o’clock in the morning and frequently visiting the site to check whether Dima had sent me a reply or not.